Necrotizing Fasciitis Average Cost

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What are Necrotizing Fasciitis?

Necrotizing fasciitis in cats, commonly referred to as the flesh eating bacteria, is a rapidly spreading bacterial infection of the facial and subcutaneous tissues. Necrotizing fasciitis in cats is commonly caused by the bacteria known as Streptococcus canis, but other reported cases have been caused by other strains of bacteria including Prevotella bivia and Acinetobacter baumannii. One of these three strains of bacteria can enter the cat’s skin through a point of injury, such as trauma to the skin caused by a bite or deep scratch. Signs of an infection usually begin to appear just a few days after being infected and include localized pain, edema and localized erythema. The death rate of necrotizing fasciitis in cats is rather high and not all felines that recover make a full recovery. As tissue reconstruction is often necessary, a feline may lose the functionality of her tissues, which is why professional veterinary consultation is a must. 

Symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Cats

Clinical signs of necrotizing fasciitis in cats will appear within a few days of infection. In beginning stages of infection, the skin will develop small skin lesions that soon turn into large regions of ulceration and necrosis. The affected skin separates itself, uncovering hidden flesh underneath the skin and local to total body pain is to be expected. Necrotizing fasciitis in cats spreads quickly and in a short amount of time will cause the feline to develop symptoms including the following: 

  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (formation of blood clots)
  • Melena (dark, tarry feces)
  • Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • Ecchymosis (bruising or discoloration of skin from bleeding)
  • Multiple organ failure 
  • Hypoalbuminemia (low blood albumin)
  • Skeletal muscle damage 
  • Leukocytosis (high white cell count)
  • Peripheral underperfusion 
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Depression 
  • Fever 
  • Shock 

Causes of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Cats

Necrotizing fasciitis in cats is caused by a localized streptococcal infection with a systemic toxemia effect. The majority of necrotizing fasciitis cases are caused by the Streptococcus canis bacterial strain, but Prevotella bivia and Acinetobacter baumannii organisms have been reported to affect felines as well. Minor skin injuries are the common point of entry for these organisms, such as a bite wound, cut or scratch on the cat’s skin. Necrotizing fasciitis is commonly seen in outdoor felines, shelter cats, and in hoarding facilities. Necrotizing fasciitis is more commonly seen in dogs and is also known for its zoonotic potential for infecting humans. 

Diagnosis of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Cats

Your veterinarian will base his or her diagnosis on the clinical signs your cat is displaying, histopathological results, and surgical findings. However, the vet cannot make an absolute positive diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis until a positive culture of the aetiological agent (bacterial strain causing the infection) has been made. Therefore, your veterinarian will start diagnostic tests with a physical exam, followed by a review of your cat’s medical history. You will be asked about your cat’s condition, how long the feline has had clinical signs of an infection and if she/he suffered any recent trauma to speak of. An analysis of your cat’s blood, urine and feces will likely be performed to rule out possible causes of the cat’s condition. Following routine diagnostic procedure, the veterinarian will likely swab the skin to perform a skin culture and/or take a sample of skin upon biopsy for histopathological examination. 

Treatment of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Cats

Necrotizing fasciitis is treated with aggressive surgical excision of all necrotic tissues to prevent the bacteria from spread onto unaffected, healthy skin. A delay in surgical debridement will increase the feline’s chances of mortality, therefore, treatment must be rapid. Intravenous fluids infused with a strong antibiotic will be administered to the feline to aid in fighting the bacteria. Although an antibiotic will aid in treating the necrotizing fasciitis infection, therapeutic drugs alone, without surgical excision, will prove ineffective. 

After the necrotic (dead) tissues have been surgically removed, your cat will require skin grafts under reconstructive surgery. If your cat has enough excess tissue to be removed from another area of the body, tissues can be directly transferred from that area. However, if your cat is relatively lean and does not posses enough excess tissue, a donor may be required. Ask your veterinarian about a skin donor program for your cat and what is required of the feline to receive necessary tissues. 

Recovery of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Cats

The prognosis for necrotizing fasciitis in cats is guarded to poor. Felines that are diagnosed early and receive aggressive treatment have a better outcome, but may not make a full recovery. The feline will appear overall healthy, but the grafted tissues are non-functional with poor nerve stimulation and poor elasticity.  Due to the rarity of this disease, a prompt diagnosis may be difficult to obtain as the likelihood of a cat being affected by necrotizing fasciitis is extremely low. For humans, the chances of being infected with a flesh eating bacteria is one to five cases in 100,000 people and, although the rate believed to be slightly higher in cats, the chances are still fairly low.

Necrotizing Fasciitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

7 Weeks
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Rescued cat has deep wound on cheek that has exposed skin. Wheeping fluid, eye is swelling. Thought it may havw been a spider bite but the mass keeps enlarging amd wound getting larger. He's 6 or 7 weeks old. Very active eating healthy normal urine and feces.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1608 Recommendations
The wound that you're describing on Shadow sounds like it needs medical attention if it is deep, swelling, and enlarging. Without seeing him, I can't examine or treat him, but having him seen by a veterinarian would allow them to look at the wound and determine what might be causing it and how to treat it.

Can the bacteria be transferred to humans from infected cat or to other animals?

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Ping Ping
house cat
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Rotting ear

Ear flesh has started to rot from the tip down and now 3/4 of the ear is gone. The cat is active and eats as normal.

Ear flesh has started to rot from the tip down and now 3/4 of the ear is gone. The cat is active and eats as normal.

Read more at:

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
In these cases, there isn’t an at home treatment, you should visit your Veterinarian immediately for an examination to diagnose the condition and to take steps to prevent further ear loss and limit further tissue damage. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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15 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Mass in stomach & groin area

Medication Used


I have a 15 female cat, who doesn't go outside, no trauma to my knowledge, has this condition. It has formed a huge mass on her stomach/groin area.

We were at the local vet on 3/27 with no signs of this mass, but was treated for dehydration....could she have received this virus from s dirty needle?

I have also been told, after seeking a new vets advice that the mass would eventually tear inside and outside. If the skin continues to die on the outside surface a sore would appear and would be uncomfortable. How long does this take for this to happen?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1608 Recommendations
Without knowing more about what is happening with Rugrat, I don't have any way to answer your question, unfortunately. Necrotizing Fasciitis is quite uncommon, but infections and masses are more common, especially in 15 year old cats. Since you had her seen by a veterinarian recently, it would be best to follow up with them, as they know more details on what her situation actually is, and can give you an idea as to treatment and possible outcomes. I hope that she is okay.

Can this flesh eating bacteria be transferred to other animals or humans?

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Domestic Short Hair
2 Years
Has Symptoms
Skin Crust
Raw Spots
Hair Loss
This condition that my cat has, has appeared rather quickly. I noticed one "raw" spot on one side of his neck, which is about the size of a quarter and then about 2 weeks later, another "raw" spot appeared at the back of his head at the base. This "raw" spot was also about the size of a 50-cent piece. This second "raw" spot had started to extend down his shoulder towards the throat area. When I first observed this skin condition he had, I had been applying doses of hydrogen peroxide with a tissue, sometimes pouring a little bit directly on the sore. On the bigger sore area, there was a piece of dried "dead" skin that had eventually fallen off. At one point, when the sore was a lot smaller, I also tried to apply an OTC antibiotic ointment to the sore, but all he did was lick it off! I had taken Oreo in for his vaccination boosters and also showed the vet these "sores" as I was very concerned about them. I wasn't sure what had caused this infection and when I has shown my daughter & son-in-law the photos on my cell phone, they both said it looked like this skin infection. My daughter is an RN & my son-in-law is a Respiratory Therapist. After the vet saw these sores on Oreo, he did take a culture swab, but I have to call & find out what he found. He thinks the cat is "allergic" to something and I told him that he eats the same food as my other cats. By the way, I might add that, fortunately, none of my other cats have this weird skin infection. Oreo is only 2 yrs old. He was only about 6 weeks old when I rescued him from where I was working at the time. Oreo is an active, playful kitty and loves to sleep on my bed. For the most part, he gets along with the other kitties - from a distance. Since each cat of mine has its own "personality" - sometimes I have to monitor their interactions with each other.